VOTE: Danger road: we need action

Motorists are clamouring for action on the ‘dangerous’ A272 after driver Beverly Law highlighted the nightmare of loose stones smashing windscreens on a ‘dangerous’ section of the A272 between Midhurst and Petworth.

Ironically in one case an Autoglass repairer was the victim of a smashed windscreen on his way to fix a customer’s car who had suffered a similar fate at the same spot.

David Hirons, of Petworth, said the stones were a ‘potentially dangerous situation’.

He told the Observer: “My windscreen was repaired in December after being continually hit by flying stones.

“Last week while driving carefully, a stone flew from the opposite carriageway, caused considerable damage which resulted in a new windscreen.

“The Autoglass representative arrived with a damaged windscreen. He complained his van would also need a new windscreen.

“Numerous friends including the proprietor of Petworth Taxis have told me of their experiences on this stretch of road.”

He said as a retired senior highways engineer, he was aware chasing the county council for compensation was very rarely successful.

Sarah Sprinks, who lives in Easebourne and travels along the A272 to Loxwood three times a week, says she has had to replace two windscreens and had a third chipped in the space of a week.

Mrs Spinks said she had to replace two windscreens after loose stones hit them at exactly the same spot.

“The first time it happened I thought it was just bad luck, but the second time was the day I had had the new windscreen fitted and I was furious,” she said.

“Now I feel exactly like Mrs Law, hunched up in the car waiting for another stone to hit the windscreen.

“It’s not that we are travelling too fast either. Last time it happened because someone overtook me and the stones flew up.”

She said complaining to West Sussex County Council had been a waste of time.

“They sent me a pack to fill in and the wad of paper was incredible – it’s a complete nightmare trying to pursue a claim against them. Basically you have to find they are at fault,” she said.

And Selham villager Peter Higgins said he had reported the dangerous loose stones last summer, but his pleas for the road to be swept went unanswered.

“I have been complaining to the council about the road for several months,” said Mr Higgins, “because it was not swept properly after it was resurfaced last year by contractors who did not finish their work.”

Mrs Law, who highlighted the dangerous stretch of road in the Observer last week, lives in Tillington and said her windscreen had been damaged three times.

So far, she complained, claims for compensation from West Sussex County Council had gone unheard.

She implored other motorists who had suffered similar incidents to report them in a bid to get the road improved.

The motorists are all complaining about three stretches of dual carriageway between Easebourne and Tillington where loose stones have been left in the hatchings after resurfacing.

As the Observer went to press West Sussex County Council had failed to comment.